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Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard recently likened the Toffees' direct approach to that used by the Potters, but the 54-year-old insists he took no offence whatsoever

Stoke City manager Tony Pulis has insisted that he took Steven Gerrard's comparison between his side and Everton as a compliment.

The Liverpool skipper criticised the Toffees for their direct style of play in the wake of a 2-2 draw in the Merseyside derby last weekebd, but later apologised for his comments.

However, Pulis claims he took no offence from the 32-year-old's outburst, and had nothing but kind words for the England captain.

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“I know Steven ­apologised for what he’s said, but I actually took it as a compliment," Pulis told The Sun.

“I’ve got a great respect for Gerrard. I think he’s a fantastic player and a great advert for English ­football.

“It’s good that people have got different ­opinions.”

The Potters have often attracted negativity for their unorthodox style of play, but the Welshman believes his side have improved immeasurably in recent years.

“I don’t take the criticism to heart... if it even was criticism," he added.

“I think we’re playing better stuff now than we have in the previous five years. The biggest ­disappointment is that we haven’t taken the ­opportunities and the chances we’ve created.

“Even in our last game, the 0-0 draw with ­Sunderland, which was a very tight affair, we still had the best chances of the game.

“We need to be taking those chances.”